Things to do in Cardigan
Cardigan is a rich mix of culture, history, and breathtaking nature. It’s the perfect location for exploring on days away from our Quay West Holiday Park. It sits near the coast overlooking Cardigan Bay, surrounded by lush greenery and historic woodlands.
Like your favourite button-up jumper, Cardigan offers a warm welcome, whatever you decide to do. Let’s explore things to do in and near Cardigan.
It’s an understatement to say that Cardigan is rich in history. For starters, did you know that Cardigan Castle is over 900 years old? People actually lived in this area thousands of years ago, which we know thanks to amazing discoveries of old flint weaponry. The castle has seen its fair share of battles, sieges, and owners, and has been rebuilt several times.
Visiting the castle today, you’ll find a rather modern experience. Fully interactive, digital exhibitions bring its history to life. You can take a wander around the grade II listed gardens that burst with rare plant life, and a contemporary restaurant for food any time of day.
Castell Henllys Iron Age Village
Just up the road from Cardigan, you’ll find this Iron Age village standing exactly where it would have 2,000 years ago. Dotted around this rural area you can spot Iron Age roundhouses built with authentic materials and methods. Have a friendly chat with the villagers here and learn more about prehistoric life as it would have been.
After all that wandering and learning, you’re bound to be hungry. Don’t worry — not everything is Iron Age accurate as you won’t need to hunt or forage to fill hungry bellies! Pop to Caffi'r Caban, the cabin cafe, and tuck into a variety of hot and cold food and drinks next to the river.
Nature around Cardigan
From the sea caves at Cardigan Bay, coastal paths, and thick woodland, Cardigan and the surrounding villages is a rich tapestry of habitats and terrains. Looking for outdoorsy things to do near Cardigan? Make sure you’re wearing your wellies as you go exploring!
Tiny but mighty, the River Piliau travels through the Teifi Marshes, bringing with it a massive variety of wildlife. You’ll have a chance to spot all kinds of critters in the varied landscape here, as there’s woodland, pastures, mudbanks, reedland, and hedgerows. Pop into a bird hide to watch snipe, curlew, and even peregrine falcons as they feed and hunt. It’s an animal lover’s paradise! You can explore the areas on foot — there are paved, decked, and rough terrain areas to trek over.
If you decided not to bring a packed lunch to enjoy along the river, head to the Glasshouse cafe for freshly homemade food and drink.
Coedmor National Nature Reserve
Once part of a gigantic forest, Coedmor is what’s left after it was cleared in the middle ages for farming. The gorge here, on the bank of the River Teifi, offers a humid climate for all kinds of plants and animal species. You can take the gorge trail (be careful, it’s short but steep) and spot fungi, birds, and butterflies.
Wander a bit further to the Coedmor Mansion gardens to discover unusual plants and shrubs.
Fancy a bit of culture? Cardigan is bursting at the seams with quirky restaurants, distilleries, galleries, and unique shops.
Stiwdio 3 encapsulates all the best bits of the artsy community here in Cardigan. It’s part trendy cafe, part crafting space with art classes, and part shop with ever-rotating locally produced items. This light and airy establishment is wonderful if you’re a dab hand at crafting, or if you admire those that do it! Stop in for a locally-sourced light bite (with vegan options) or book your spot on a craft course.
In the Welsh Wind Distillery
This one’s more for the grown-ups. In The Welsh Wind started from humble beginnings in a renovated cow shed and is now offering award-winning artisan gins. If you have a taste for the finer spirits, why not book a tour of the distillery or a gin-tasting experience? Go one better and become a distiller yourself — craft your own gin with the gin-making experience.
If you’d rather skip the hands-on stuff and sit back with a chilled G&T, you can buy spirits from the bottle shop or chill in the gin bar.
Cardigan Guildhall Market
A blend of modern Gothic and Arabic architecture, the Guildhall Market building is steeped in culture and history, but let’s be honest — it’s a brilliant place to shop. There are over 30 traders across two floors, selling everything from jewellery and vintage clothing to fresh produce and crafting supplies.
All that shopping will have you working up an appetite, so save a few quid for the end of the trip and grab something to eat at the cafe inside.